Seven odds-and-ends for seven days of the week, plus a bonus death post. Happy reading!
1. Over at Don’t Do That Harriets Daughter posted “The Meaning of July Fourth for the Negro” by Frederick Douglass. It serves as great reminder that so-called independence is not for everyone. As HD reminds us, “the wealth and power of this nation is due in large part, if not the whole, to the systematic program of genocide against one people and the forced enslavement of another”
2. Next Stop Iran: At the New Yorker, in “Preparing the Battlefield,” Seymour Hersh analyzes the Congressional approval of “major escalation of covert operations against Iran.” Yeah, cuz that’s just what the world needs, more war.
3. At SocialistWorker.org, in “Stupid, Racist, or Both,” Dave Zirin discusses the latest proof that Don Imus is indeed both stupid and racist. In my favorite bit of the piece, he opines
It is ridiculous that people like Sean Hannity–who are all for shredding the Constitution when it comes to the rights of antiwar protesters or detainees in the “war on terror”–wrap themselves in the Bill of Rights and champion the First Amendment and “free speech” when it comes to Imus.
This has nothing to do with free speech. This is about whether blatant racism is acceptable both in sports and on commercial radio. This is about whether we embrace the idea that with a microphone comes some measure of responsibility.
4. Renee at Womanist Musings reported that Thomas Beatie gave birth to a healthy baby (does it matter if the baby is female or male?) and called for the acceptance of a more fluid definition of gender. Yes, this is desperately needed as evidenced by the trangender inequality video posted here at Queers United.
5. Women’s E News reports on Jasmyne Cannick’s efforts to put an end blackface performances “that mock the plight and lives of African American men and women.” Cannick has launched a national campaign targeting Charles Knipp’s character Shirley Q. Liquor, a virulently racist, misogynistic ‘act’ that earns Knipp between $70,000 to $90,000 a year. She is also critical of Eddie Murphy, Tyler Perry, and Martin Lawrence for their blackface performance. (I would add that Murphy also enacts racist yellowface performances, among others.) See the full article here for an analysis of why blackface is not funny.
6. In “The Global Seed Police” over at Counterpunch Binoy Kampmark discusses the documentary The World According to Monsanto, the “corporate bully” that is working feverishly to patent seeds to the detriment of world farmers. Vandana Shiva (eco-feminist extraordinaire) critiques the “rhetoric of salvation” used by Monsanto, noting their aim “has little to do with ‘food security’ and everything to do with ‘returns to Monsanto’s profits’. The real aim here is patenting, and the corporate giant is in the business of biopiracy, targeting local markets and industries to gain an unassailable market share.”
7. The Feminist Daily News Wire reports that Ninth Circuit Federal Court of Appeals ruled that graphic abortion images are protected speech. See the full story here. And, to counter this appalling news, see also here for the news that “twenty-two states and the District of Columbia have refused millions of federal dollars allotted for abstinence-only education programs for the upcoming fiscal year.” This represents a 40% drop in acceptance. Yippee – the nation is finally waking up to the abysmal failure of abstinence only ed!
And, as a bonus, a death for the week:
For a detailed account of Jesse Helms hate spewing rhetoric and actions from 1963 until his death (just in case you need reminding that he was not the wonderful man the mainstream media is making him out to be) see Lindsay Beyerstein’s post at Majikthise.